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Tiny Sprouts Science with Miss Georgine | 02

How Seeds Grow

This science activity teaches children about different ways to start growing seeds indoors. It reinforces the four main elements that seeds need to grow. Children learn patience in observing nature over a period of time. It also offers opportunities for utilizing the process of scientific thinking: observation, prediction, and experimentation.

It might be helpful to watch this book reading of "How Seeds Grow" to introduce this activity before you get started.

Warning – Young children often put small items in their ears and nose. Keep a close watch on all children handling seeds.

Next Steps

Plastic Bag Sprouting

You will need:

  • Sandwich size Zip-lock bags, one for each seed is best.

  • A fast sprouting seed, such as dried beans or peas.

  • Absorbent paper towel

  • Water (filtered)

  • Stick on label and a pen

  1. With toddlers, assist your child by putting a folded paper towel into the zip-lock baggie.

  2. With a water sprayer or small cup of filtered water, wet the folded paper towel.

  3. Next, help your toddler lay a seed against the wet towel and flatten out the baggie. Close the baggie part way, leaving an opening for air.

  4. Label the baggie with the type of seed you put inside of it.

  5. Keep the baggie with a seed in a window for sunlight. Keep the paper towel wet by adding water every few days as needed. Seeds should begin to sprout in about 6-8 days. Seeds may grow in the baggie for up to two weeks, then carefully put the roots in soil.

Preschool Age

Children may be able to fold the paper towel and spray the water independently.

Soil Sprouting

You will need:

  • Seeds ready for planting

  • A wide shallow bin

  • A few clean empty eggshells

  • Empty egg carton

  • Half a bucket of soil or potting soil

  • Water sprayer with (filtered) water

  • Pen

  • Stick on label and a pen

  1. Fill a wide shallow bin halfway with potting soil.

  2. Sprinkle in a hand full of larger visible seeds, like pumpkin or white beans.

  3. Add some scoops and non-breakable containers with safe edges.

  4. Under supervision, allow your toddler to explore the soil and find the seeds. Discuss the color of the seeds and what kind of plant they are from.

  5. Mist the bin of seeds with water until wet. Cover the bin and set it aside near a window.

  6. With preschoolers, allow your child to use a plastic spoon and scoop out a seed with some soil and put it into a clean empty eggshell. Add another spoon full of soil.

  7. Mist the soil and seed in the eggshell, and put it into the empty egg carton.

  8. Place containers with seeds and soil in a sunny window.

  9. Mist often to keep the soil wet. Check your planted seeds every day or two. After 6 -20 days you may find a sprouting seed. Different seeds take different lengths of time to sprout.

Expanded Experiments

  • Number or name each different kind of seed in a baggie. Guess which kind will sprout first. Watch and note which one sprouted first. Were you right? Count how many days each seed takes with tally lines.

  • Observe similar types of seeds in eggshells and in baggies. Which environment will get the seeds to sprout first? Watch what happens. Were you correct?

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